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20130214
20130214
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mandatory cuts in federal spending, another debt ceiling vote, along with new worries over the effect of any cuts on a still-weak economy. at issue is nothing less than the size and responsibility of the federal government. we call the film "cliffhanger." frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support for frontline is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information is available at macfound.org. additional funding is provided by the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and by the frontline journalism fund, with a grant from scott nathan and laura debonis. >> polls open across the... >> it's going to be a fierce battle for control of the house and the senate... >> one of the most closely watched midterm elections in years... >> decision day, voters across america head to the polls for midterm elections, with control of congress hanging in the balance... >>
leadership in the house of representatives. and it was designed to raise the debt ceiling because we had borrowed all the money that legally could be borrowed, and the administration wanted to spend more and borrow more money. we were borrowing well over 35 cents out of every dollar that we spent at that time and still are, and so he wanted to raise the debt ceiling, and the people holding the credit card, the united states congress, said wait a minute, you have run up too much debt, you have got to lay out a plan that at least over ten years would equal the amount we raised the debt ceiling. you get to spend that money now, and it was spent in 18 months. we already hit the debt ceiling again. we would raise this debt ceiling $2.1 trillion, and an agreement was reached to reduce spending over the next ten years by $2.1 trillion. so that was then. the president signed that. the democratic leader in the senate agreed to that. the speaker of the house, the republican, agreed to that. that became the law. well, we were on path at that time -- and these are numbers that we live with every day
, but they said, oh, the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling, we can use that as a lever to make the democrats give us significant cuts to the federal budget. so what they did in august of 2011 they said that we're going to allow -- we're not going to raise the debt ceiling. we're going to allow the federal government to default on previously acquired obligations of the united states so not pay our bills that we already acquired and risk our a.a.a. debt -- a.a.a. credit rating if you do not impose dramatic cuts. what the president said, ok, we'll give you some cuts upfront and we'll set up something called the supercommittee, three democrats from the house, three republicans from the house, three republicans from the senate, three democrats from the senate, we call that the supercommittee and they are going to give us an up or down vote on some other cuts. but if they don't then we are going to have this thing called the sequester and it will be across-the-board cuts in a dramatic and really imposing way. the sequester is what we're facing now because the supercommittee failed. now, the supercommittee
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